Goldman Sachs upgrades Pfizer, says pharma giant can outperform even as Covid demand diminishes
Pfizer ‘s work on new products will help the company maintain its Covid momentum even as vaccine becomes a smaller business element, Goldman Sachs said Tuesday. Analyst Chris Shibutani upgraded the stock to buy from neutral with a price target of $60, which reflects a 15% upside over Monday’s close. His previous price target of $47 indicated the stock would fall from Monday’s close. “Following a year of pipeline progress and activity on the M & A front, our view on the stock has changed,” he said in a note to clients. “We now believe that positive updates from the company’s pipeline, and the potential for outperformance from the commercial new product launch portfolio over the course of the coming year, can drive meaningful upside to the value that should be ascribed to PFE’s base business.” Shibutani said uncertainty remains for how the market will evolve in a Covid-endemic scenario. But he said the diversity within Pfizer’s pipeline bolsters optimism that the company can perform even if it has a Covid trough. Outside its the company’s Covid offerings, Shibutani sees potential in its late-stage growth offerings including the RSV vaccine, Nurtec for migraines and Oxbryta within the sickle cell space. He said positive data for earlier-stage projects could also help unlock value. “We believe that ‘trough sales’ scenarios for this portfolio do not present thesis-changing downside,” he said, “and is thus an acceptable risk when considered together with the upside opportunity that we now look for from the base business.” The stock gained 1.9% before the bell. It has lost 11.7% this year. Pfizer shares are also up more than 60% since March 2020. — CNBC’s Michael Bloom contributed to this report.
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